Being a patient in the hospital can be frightening. After all, you are in a strange place, being cared for by others and you have no idea what to expect as you journey through the maze. Anxiety…and even fear… is certainly understandable.
To help ensure that your patient experience is a safe one, we offer the following PATIENT SAFETY TIPS to assist you with navigating your hospital stay:
- Ask anyone visiting or caring for you to wash their hands – You can’t go wrong with this reminder. It’s for your safety and the safety of others. Staff won’t mind and we want you to feel comfortable speaking up. Oak Hill Hospital also uses a program called UltraClenz, which monitors staff hand hygiene. Compliance rates are shared weekly for staff education and on-going coaching of the importance of hand hygiene.
- Name and Birthday please – You will probably grow weary of stating your name and birthday to any healthcare team member performing your care. This is one way we ensure the safety of choosing the correct patient for the correct procedure/test every time.
- Please ASK for help! – Patient falls are a risk in any healthcare setting. The environment may be unknown to you and any fall may result in a fracture. Remember:
- You are sick and may be weak
- You may be taking new or different medications for symptom control
- You may have loss of coordination or dizziness
- Valuables need to stay home – It is common to want your personal items close to you during your stay. However, we do not want you to lose any of these important items during hospitalization and request you only bring the essentials to the hospital. Please leave valuables and other expensive items (i.e., jewelry, computers and tablets) at home. If we find you have valuables with you upon arrival, we will ask you to store these items in the hospital safe or send them home with a family member. Most hospitals will not replace lost or stolen items, so it is prudent to leave them at home.
- Tubes should be out as quickly as possible – Being sick often means various tubes are placed in you while hospitalized. Talk with your physician DAILY about removal. Invasive lines such as urinary catheters or catheters inserted into your veins can increase infection risk. Our nursing staff will partner with you to ask the question every shift to ensure tubes are discontinued when no longer needed.
Our goal is to assist you with recovery and maintaining your good health. However, in the event you or one of your loved ones needs hospitalization, please keep these tips handy. Patient safety is always on our minds……..please let it be on your mind as well!
Author: Christine Piacquaddio, Patient Safety Director of Oak Hill Hospital